Psychometric tests are an inescapable phenomenon sweeping through the world of candidate selection.

Recent research reveals that 76% of organisations employing more than 100 people rely on aptitude and psychometric tests when hiring external candidates. Over the next few years, that figure is expected to climb to 88%. And it’s not confined to screening junior recruits: global studies estimate that while tests are used for 59% of entry-level roles, they’re also used for 72% of middle management positions and as much as 80% of senior roles.

First, the bad news: well-designed and rigorously validated tests, such as the suite of Hogan Psychometric Assessments we provide at Liminal Consulting, can’t be gamed. Now for the good news: you can honestly assure candidates applying for a role in your organisation (or seeking progression within it) that these assessments are designed to help applicants as well as employers.

They reduce to the point of eradication distortions born of conscious and unconscious biases that exist among interviewers, both of which can lead to bad hiring decisions and needless rejections. The more informed candidates are about them, the more likely they’ll be to honestly showcase their “best selves.”

One of the traits that employers measure with aptitude tests is competence. The aim is to find out as rigorously as possible what a candidate really knows, what a candidate can really do, and what a candidate is able to learn. The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI), for example, explores a candidate’s cognitive aptitudes in business-related matters: in other words, it measures how competently the individual concerned is able to solve business problems and make sound business decisions based on a raft of data modalities – graphical, textual, quantitative, etc.

Next time, I’ll say a little more about what these tests measure. They can’t be “gamed”; but if your candidate genuinely has the aptitudes, they can be “aced”, in the sense of bringing otherwise hidden talents out.

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